Food retail in India to touch $150 billion by 2025: KPMG

New Delhi: Driven by the growth of organised retail coupled with changing consumer habits, food retail sector in India is set to more than double to $150 billion (around Rs6,70,870 crore) by 2025, reports PTI quoting a report by KPMG.

India's food retail sector, which is currently estimated at $70 billion (around Rs3,13,137 crore) will more than double in the next fifteen years, the global audit and advisory firm KPMG said.

“Evolution of innovative food processing capacity, emergence of organised retail and change in consumption patterns along with fast changing demographics and habits is fuelling the next growth trajectory for the food industry in India,” KPMG said in a statement.

Despite the potential, the sector has not yet seen sufficient investment, especially foreign direct investment (FDI), the report said.

“The food sector, in spite of its large share of GDP and the consumer basket, received only 3.3% out of the gross FDI flows in India between 2000 and 2010,” KPMG executive director Ramesh Srinivas said.

High growth in food retail is limited by sub-optimal supply chain caused by low investment in the sector, he added.

Some players such as McDonalds, RK Foodland, Jubilant Food Works (Dominos) have, however, invested in back-end processes, optimised supply chain management, according to KPMG.

“There is also considerable investment in the cold chain industry by multinational corporations and private equity firms,” Mr Srinivas added.


Jindal Steel and Power subsidiary starts production in Oman

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) said its subsidiary Jindal Shadeed has started trial production of hot briquetted iron (HBI) from its plant at Sohar Industrial Port area in Oman. 

Jindal Shadeed started the trial production almost five months ahead of schedule on 5 December 2010. The initial target date for the plant was 31 March 2011. 
The feat was achieved by the well co-ordinated efforts of Jindal Shadeed, its contractors and sub-contractors along with the strong support of the local community and the Omani government.

Jindal Shadeed has installed a 1.5 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) gas-based HBI plant at Sohar Industrial Port area. This facility will support the strong demand for steel in the Middle East and North African countries, which has an anticipated supply shortfall estimated at more than 12 million tonnes.

On Tuesday, JSPL gained 0.26% to Rs700.90 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.23% down at 19,934.64 points


TRAI to float consultation paper on value-added services soon

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will soon float a consultation paper on value-added services (VAS) that include caller tunes, ring-back tones and MMS, which are offered by various applications providers, reports PTI.

“We will bring out a consultation paper on VAS in the next few days. We will see how to bring VAS into the active mainstream,” TRAI chairman JS Sarma told reporters on the sidelines of the IAMAI India Digital Media Summit event.

Although Mr Sarma did not elaborate on the areas that would be covered in consultations, they are likely to include the contentious issue of revenue-sharing between telcos and application providers.

VAS operators constantly complain that as they provide features, content and a wide range of services like ringer tunes to mobile operators for their customers in the absence of a proper regulatory structure, they do not get adequate financial returns from telcos.

As for pushing broadband growth in the country, Mr Sarma said TRAI will come up shortly with recommendations on the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

“As per the recommendations, all gram panchayats will be covered by 2012 and by 2013, all villages with more than 500 people will be covered (by broadband connectivity),” Mr Sarma said.

“I think we would aim at more than 100 million subscribers by 2014 and this is other than wireless mobile broadband, which itself is expected to be more than 50 million,” he added.

On the issue of the difference between active subscriber base and the total reported figure by operators, Mr Sarma said, “We have indicated what the VLR figure is as on 30 September, 2010. Please note that it is the figure as on that date. The figure on a particular date does not mean that it needs to be the same on another day, because it is the number of people who are actually accessing the network on a day, which may be different on another day."

He said there was no allusion to inflating of subscribers numbers by operators in that data. “Nobody is saying that somebody has inflated the subscriber numbers. They are only saying the number of subscribers and the number of active subscribers on a particular day is different.”

Based on VLR figures, GSM mobile operators had hit out at their CDMA counterparts for inflating subscriber base numbers to demand more spectrum (radio waves), a charge that has been denied.


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